Get 2 days of unlimited access
Class Notes (1,000,000)
CA (600,000)
McGill (30,000)
HIST (1,000)
HIST 249 (100)
Lecture 20

HIST 249 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Postpartum Infections, Asepsis, Twilight Sleep

Course Code
HIST 249
Faith Wallis

This preview shows half of the first page. to view the full 3 pages of the document.
Medicalizing Reproduction: The History of Childbirth
(Guest Lecturer)
o Courepack: Judith Walzer Leavitt: "Science Enters the Birthing Room:
Obstetrics in America since the Eighteenth Century" AND "On Insane Women
and the Reproductive System"
Guest lecturer
Why study the history of childbirth:
o 1 human event that effects everyone
o Not everyone will become parents… but 80% of Canadian women are likely to have
at least 1 child
o Birth control - biological, political, social event
o Majority of childbirth is now happening in the hospital…
o Reproduction - should women have legal or medical or finical access to birth control?
o Do people have a right to give birth? Even those who suffer from infertility?
o Role of medicine in modern childbirth (pain relief, midwives, doctors…)
o The process by which events and experiences are pushed & pulled into the medical
o Scholars accuse pharmaceutical companies
o Over-medicalization of women's bodies
o Disease/pathology
o Pregnancy is different (not a disease, is a natural event - predated modern medicine)
o Birth control became medicalized because of its success - forced women to go to
their doctors to get a prescription for it
o USA: more women having babies in hospitals
Why is this so medicalized in the USA
Social Childbirth
o Judy Leavitt article
o Female event
o Offering help, support, comfort to the pregnant woman
o Midwives likely to attend
o Birth control - don’t have the internet, about word of mouth in order to stop
How the history of childbirth has been told has its own history
o Ehrenreich & English -
Witches, midwives, nurses: a history of women nurses
o Women always being healers
find more resources at
find more resources at
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version